Is the New York Times trying to change the subject from the bad economy to social issues, for Obama's sake? On Thursday Michael Shear (pictured) and Jonathan Weisman did their best to tie controversial comments by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin to Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan: "Romney Strategists Say They’ll Stay the Course Amid Focus on Abortion."
Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers have concluded that they do not need any major adjustments in strategy to respond to the new focus on abortion and reproductive rights caused by Representative Todd Akin, betting that their candidate’s economic message will still resonate with female voters after the controversy over Mr. Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape.”
The story included a large graphic titled "Abortion Votes in the House" and irrelevantly noted that Paul Ryan and Todd Akin voted the same way on the bills.
The advisers conceded that Mr. Akin’s comments last weekend had wreaked havoc on the campaign’s message heading into the convention in Tampa next week, and that the situation was made worse by the Republican Party’s decision this week to endorse an anti-abortion plank at its convention -- without an exception for rape or incest.
But they expressed confidence that Mr. Romney and Republican Congressional candidates would weather the week of bad press, in part because the quick and thunderous denunciation of Mr. Akin by the party’s leadership has minimized the potential impact of being tied to his comments.
The Times assumed that Ryan would hurt Romney's appeal to women on the abortion issue.
Still, Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan has also complicated his campaign’s outreach to women by adding Mr. Ryan’s record in Congress to the list of positions that Mr. Romney must explain and defend.
In addition to the bill he co-sponsored with Mr. Akin on the definition of rape, Mr. Ryan also voted for dozens of bills that sought to oppose or restrict abortion rights.